Monday, February 26, 2018

Mama Baby Fitness and the Regular Rant

Hi!

Not too much to report this week, although I did attend a Mom/Baby fitness class that I loved, and it was definitely out of my comfort zone, so that's a notch on the resolution belt :)


I also celebrated my 38th birthday this past week.  The hubby got me a glider for the baby's room (which I wanted so badly and absolutely love) as well as flowers, and he made an amazing dinner complete with lobster, steak and shrimp.  The teenager got me a book that looks incredible, as well as a mug that says "Reading is my super power".  She knows me so well.

On Saturday morning I woke up to this after a night of partying with friends, so that was fun - how can you possible complain about anything when this is what you wake up to?


And because I'm sharing cute pics of the baby, I have to include one of the gorgeous teen too...she's pretty damn awesome.


I made some pretty great meals this week, but didn't get any pictures, so you're out of luck in the recipe department.  I made ribs, lobster bisque with homemade cheesy biscuits, and Jamaican stew chicken.  All of the dishes were to die for, so it's a shame I didn't document them.

On to my resolutions...

1. Read a minimum of 20 mins per day - 36 out of 57 days, not great

2. Read a minimum of 1 book per month -
January - The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
February - The Buddha and The Borderline

3. Drink 80oz of water per day - 15 out of 56 days... still an embarrassment!

4. Get in a minimum of 10,000 steps daily - 41 out of 57 days. Not bad, but there's room for improvement

5. Post on this blog weekly - so far so good

6. Lose the baby weight and get into the best shape of my life - The scale hasn't really been moving, I've lost a total of 25.2 lbs since having Brie, and I have 11 lbs left to reach my goal weight.  We are planning a trip (very soon) to a beach destination, so I have no choice but to kick this weight loss into high gear.  It's time to really buckle down here.

7. Have 12 no spend weeks - This isn't going so well. I'll keep trying

8. Write for 30 mins per week - I was on track, but fell behind recently. I'm at an upsetting part of the "story" and didn't want the added stress. It's been very hard dealing with Shaf's death and surrounding issues, so I'll get back to it soon, just not yet.

9. Get rid of 52 things - also from the same website - what a great idea to get rid of things that have been accumulated over the years and just collect dust
1-6. Books given to my daughter's friend, they were duplicates that I didn't need to hang on to
7. Threw out some cleaning products and knick knacks that were under the kitchen sink
8. Got rid of some baby clothes that we had been given by a friend - they were all boys clothes
(since we thought we were having a boy) - I kept some neutral items and brought the rest to Once
Upon A Child for some cash
9. Got rid of all the old tupperware (and bought a new set - does that count? I'm going to say yes
because in the past I would have kept the old & the new)
10. Dumped all of the expired vitamins and medicine that we had (some dating as far back as 2010!!) - more on that below

10. Organize/clean 52 areas (that I wouldn't normally clean during my daily/weekly routines)
1. Organized my book shelves by giving away duplicate books, grouping the self-help novels together, grouping authors together that I have huge collections of, and alphabetizing the remaining books
2. Cleaned the area underneath the kitchen sink - it was a disaster. Now everything is organized
and accounted for
3. I cleaned the top of the hallway closet and threw out winter gear that had no matches along with
other little things that had no business being there (or anywhere). A small project, but a needed
one! (see pictures below)
4. I cleaned our "medicine cabinet" - we have a section of shelving in our kitchen where we keep vitamins and medicine. Most of the bottles were expired, and it was a mess up there. See before and after pics above. And yes, I am still taking prenatal vitamins. We plan on having one more baby so might as well stay healthy for that. To be honest I think I'll continue taking them indefinitely - they are great.

11. Email or call my Grandma weekly - Doing well with this one

And I'm adding one more:

12.  Do things to get me out of my comfort zone
 1. I attended a mom/baby fitness class, and loved it so much that I'll be going weekly (with a friend     of mine pictured above)



Monday, February 19, 2018

Vegetarian Lasagna with Sweet Potato Sauce

Happy Family Day!

We are home hanging out together..well, kind of.  Hubby is enjoying his day off in bed, and me and the girls are watching Celebrity Big Brother.  Of course, I am also cooking and baking.

Since yesterday I have made amazing fall of the bone ribs, alfredo pasta & green beans, as well as sausages and spaghetti squash, mini meatloaves, and triple chocolate peppermint cookies.  I'd say that we are prepared for the week.  Tonight's dinner will be homemade bbq pizza (topped with ribs, meatloaf, bbq sauce, sweet peppers, and lots of cheese).  The rest of the week will be the abundance of leftovers that we will have from all of these meals.  Yum, I love leftovers.

What I'd really like to tell you about though, is the vegetarian lasagna I made earlier in the week.  Wow was it ever a hit!  I even surprised myself with how well it turned out.  I don't really have a recipe for you, so I'll do my best to explain.  I had a few baked sweet potatoes in the fridge that I knew weren't going to be eaten, so I used them as the basis to my sauce.

I threw 2 baked sweet potatoes in the blender along with an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, salt & pepper, and some water to loosen things up and make a saucy consistency. 

For the lasagna filling I mixed together cottage cheese, an egg, a package of frozen spinach, a can of rinsed white kidney beans, and a block of gouda, shredded.


To assemble the lasagna, I poured some sweet potato sauce into the baking pan, put down a layer of oven-ready lasagna noodles, a layer of the cottage cheese mixture, and then repeated.  I ended with more sauce poured on top and another block of shredded gouda.  I baked it at 375 for 40 minutes, then kept it under the broiler for a few minutes.  The result was divine.  We ate the leftovers for days, with no complaints.  So damn good.


This was so easy, and so good - we will definitely be making it again!!

On to my resolutions...

1. Read a minimum of 20 mins per day - 31 out of 49 days, not great

2. Read a minimum of 1 book per month -
January - The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
February - The Buddha and The Borderline

3. Drink 80oz of water per day - 13 out of 49 days...an embarrassment!

4. Get in a minimum of 10,000 steps daily - 37 out of 49 days. Not bad, but there's room for improvement

5. Post on this blog weekly - so far so good

6. Lose the baby weight and get into the best shape of my life - This one has been going well. I'm loving the treadmill, and it helps that I watch Pretty Little Liars on Netflix while I'm on there (I admit it, I'm obsessed).

7. Have 12 no spend weeks - This isn't going so well. I'll keep trying

8. Write for 30 mins per week - I was on track, but fell behind recently. I'm at an upsetting part of the "story" and didn't want the added stress. It's been very hard dealing with Shaf's death and surrounding issues, so I'll get back to it soon, just not yet.

9. Get rid of 52 things - also from the same website - what a great idea to get rid of things that have been accumulated over the years and just collect dust
1-6. Books given to my daughter's friend, they were duplicates that I didn't need to hang on to
7. Threw out some cleaning products and knick knacks that were under the kitchen sink
8. Got rid of some baby clothes that we had been given by a friend - they were all boys clothes
(since we thought we were having a boy) - I kept some neutral items and brought the rest to Once
Upon A Child for some cash
9. Got rid of all the old tupperware (and bought a new set - does that count? I'm going to say yes
because in the past I would have kept the old & the new)
10. Dumped all of the expired vitamins and medicine that we had (some dating as far back as 2010!!) - more on that below

10. Organize/clean 52 areas (that I wouldn't normally clean during my daily/weekly routines)
1. Organized my book shelves by giving away duplicate books, grouping the self-help novels together, grouping authors together that I have huge collections of, and alphabetizing the remaining books
2. Cleaned the area underneath the kitchen sink - it was a disaster. Now everything is organized
and accounted for
3. I cleaned the top of the hallway closet and threw out winter gear that had no matches along with
other little things that had no business being there (or anywhere). A small project, but a needed
one! (see pictures below)
4. I cleaned our "medicine cabinet" - we have a section of shelving in our kitchen where we keep vitamins and medicine. Most of the bottles were expired, and it was a mess up there. See before and after pics above. And yes, I am still taking prenatal vitamins. We plan on having one more baby so might as well stay healthy for that. To be honest I think I'll continue taking them indefinitely - they are great.

11. Email or call my Grandma weekly - Doing well with this one

And I'm adding one more:

12.  Do things to get me out of my comfort zone - stay tuned

Have a great week y'all!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Flourless Protein Packed Double Chocolate Breakfast Muffins




I love chocolate. I somehow find a way to incorporate it into as many meals/foods as I can. So I'm constantly on a quest to find healthy chocolate fixes. These muffins are a winner in that department!

I used this recipe but added 3 scoops of chocolate peanut butter protein powder, and subbed the maple syrup for applesauce to eliminate some added sugar. For the chocolate chips I put exactly 5 chips on top of each muffin. Barely anything, but enough to seem decadent.

These are protein packed and fiber filled, and perfect for a healthy on-the-go breakfast or snack. The chocolate disguises them as being unhealthy, so they are a hit with the rest of the family as well. I love sneaking healthy foods into their day without them knowing.


On to my 2018 resolutions...

1. Read a minimum of 20 mins per day - 29 out of 42 days, not great

2. Read a minimum of 1 book per month -
January - The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
February - The Buddha and The Borderline

3. Drink 80oz of water per day - 12 out of 42 days...eek

4. Get in a minimum of 10,000 steps daily - 31 out of 42 days. Not bad, but there's room for improvement

5. Post on this blog weekly - so far so good

6. Lose the baby weight and get into the best shape of my life - This one has been going well. The past week or so of added stress has left me with minimal appetite so I"ll get back on track this week with eating healthy and at regular intervals.

7. Have 12 no spend weeks - This isn't going so well. I'll keep trying

8. Write for 30 mins per week - I was on track, but fell behind recently. I'm at an upsetting part of the "story" and didn't want the added stress. It's been very hard dealing with Shaf's death and surrounding issues, so I'll get back to it soon, just not yet.

9. Get rid of 52 things - also from the same website - what a great idea to get rid of things that have been accumulated over the years and just collect dust
1-6. Books given to my daughter's friend, they were duplicates that I didn't need to hang on to
7. Threw out some cleaning products and knick knacks that were under the kitchen sink
8. Got rid of some baby clothes that we had been given by a friend - they were all boys clothes
(since we thought we were having a boy) - I kept some neutral items and brought the rest to Once
Upon A Child for some cash
9. Got rid of all the old tupperware (and bought a new set - does that count? I'm going to say yes
because in the past I would have kept the old & the new)
10. Dumped all of the expired vitamins and medicine that we had (some dating as far back as 2010!!) - more on that below

10. Organize/clean 52 areas (that I wouldn't normally clean during my daily/weekly routines)
1. Organized my book shelves by giving away duplicate books, grouping the self-help novels together, grouping authors together that I have huge collections of, and alphabetizing the remaining books
2. Cleaned the area underneath the kitchen sink - it was a disaster. Now everything is organized
and accounted for
3. I cleaned the top of the hallway closet and threw out winter gear that had no matches along with
other little things that had no business being there (or anywhere). A small project, but a needed
one! (see pictures below)

Before
After
Before
After

4. I cleaned our "medicine cabinet" - we have a section of shelving in our kitchen where we keep vitamins and medicine. Most of the bottles were expired, and it was a mess up there. See before and after pics above. And yes, I am still taking prenatal vitamins. We plan on having one more baby so might as well stay healthy for that. To be honest I think I'll continue taking them indefinitely - they are great.

11. Email or call my Grandma weekly - Doing well with this one

Monday, February 5, 2018

Sad Times

Last week wasn't great.  My resolutions have not been at the top of the list of priorities.

Last week we received news that my sister-in-law had passed away.  She was 30.  It was sudden and unexpected; the autopsy showed that she had passed from a blood clot that had traveled to her lungs and caused a heart attack.  Her boyfriend found her, gone, when he came home from work.

Shaf was a beautiful person inside and out.  She was an amazing mother to her 9 year old son, a supportive sister to Chris, a loving and ever-present aunt to her nieces, and a patient and kind daughter.  Her son was her world and his life has now been changed forever, along with everyone else who had ever crossed her path.

In light of this news, I don't feel it is appropriate to comment on my resolutions and goals this week.  Instead I am taking the time to re-evaluate what is important in life.  We are all truly living on borrowed time, and each day that we get is a gift.  So cliche, but so very true.

My family has been through a lot in the last year and a half.  One day I'll share the gory details, but it hasn't been easy.  There have been numerous heart breaks, Jerry Springer worthy plots, and now two very sad deaths.  I look at my life today and still can't believe this is how things have played out.

I hear myself complain, I get angry over things that happen, I am still angry over the past mistakes that have been made (both by myself and others) and yet I question why I am wasting my time on anything negative at all?  I am not promised tomorrow, so why waste a single second on unpleasant feelings of anger, jealousy, resentment?

I set out this year to live my best life.  This can't just be another failed resolution.  I can't say I'll try better next year, next week, next month, because I may not get that opportunity.  I am positive that had Shaf been giving the choice to live even a few more days with her son, she would have done everything possible to make that happen.  She wasn't given that choice, but we are.  We have the opportunity to live our best life every day.  To be kind and supportive, to be loving and non-judgmental.  Why on earth would we choose anything else?

I know it's hard - life gets in the way.  Financial stress, relationship hurdles, parenting issues - but we can choose to handle each of these situations differently then we are now.  Perhaps as learning opportunities to constantly be bettering ourselves.  Sadly we won't be around forever.  We won't always have the time to fix our mistakes, to reconnect with loved ones, to mend relationships.  Lets do it now, while we can.  I have a lot of work to do on myself, and I know it won't be easy, it hasn't been easy thus far, but I have got to keep pushing.  I don't want to live with regrets.  I don't want to die with them either.

I'll end with a picture of Shaf and her son, when she came to visit us in the hospital when Brie was born, just 11 weeks ago.  She sat there with her family not knowing that her life would be coming to an end so soon afterwards.  She has left behind a legacy of love and understanding - that is how people will remember her.  How will people remember you?  Is there something you can do now to ensure you are remembered as you would like to be?  Think about it, and make the changes now, while you still can.